Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Why should I hire a professional photographer?
A. Whether you are a real estate agent, homeowner (for sale by owner/FSBO), business owner, designer or builder it is in your best interest to hire a professional photographer to create images for websites and other forms of marketing.
Over 90% of buyers begin searching for their new home online, therefore quality photographs are essential to effectively marketing your listing. According to an article published by the Wall Street Journal, listings utilizing professional photography had 61% more views than their peers across all price tiers. The best presented homes generate more buyer interest and more traffic. As a result, they average less time on the market to sell, which translates into dollars well spent for a real estate agent or seller.
Buyers decide which properties to visit in person based upon what caught their attention online. If homebuyers perusing the Internet are inspired by the photographs, they will continue to click through the listing and explore the agents website. If they don’t, they will click “back” and view a different listing. They simply will not continue to look at a listing that does not catch their eye. As stated by fellow photographer Jay Groccia, “That was it – right there – that was your opportunity to grab that buyer’s attention, and if they clicked back, you’ve lost them forever”.
Representing the property with quality photographs makes you stand out from the competition. It has been estimated that only 15-20% of listings utilize professional photographs. By hiring a photographer, you will improve your image by presenting yourself as a true professional in your field. The extra money spent to adequately market your listing pays off even after the sale by getting you more listings in the future.
Professional photography sells homes. Research from national real estate firm Redfin shows that homes showcased with high quality photography get a 47% higher asking price per square foot. Higher asking prices also translated to higher selling prices. For example, their data revealed that, on average, a $300k listing with professional photographs sold for $3,145 more than a house with non-professional photographs. Redfin also found that professionally photographed homes sell for at least $934 and as much as $18,819 more than homes photographed by an amateur. Of course, a higher selling price means a better commission for you.
Q. I have a camera, why shouldn’t I take the photos myself?
A. Many agents and homeowners cut corners by shooting the photos themselves. This is a real disservice to homeowners and potential buyers. Having a camera, even a really good one, does not make you a professional photographer in the same way owning a guitar does not make you Jimi Hendrix.
As an agent, the time you spend taking pictures and processing them interferes with other aspects of your job. Your time is better spent building relationships and drumming up new listings to build your business. You hire contractors to perform renovations on the home, so why not outsource photography services as well?
I have a strong background in photography and have spent thousands of hours learning the trade. I will use my eye for composition, sense of design and technical understanding of lighting, camera equipment, and software to create beautiful photographs that will literally have buyers lining up at your door.
The photographs will be produced using a high quality DSLR camera and wide-angle lens with a tripod. All images are processed using Adobe Lightroom with Enfuse (for HDR) and Adobe Photoshop to render optimal image quality. The images you receive will be warm and inviting while accurately representing the space. The vertical and horizontal lines will be straight with no strange angles or lens distortion. I strive to create photographs that could just as easily grace the pages of a magazine as they would for a listing online.
Q. What is your service area?
A. My primary service area is St. Clair County followed by Madison, Monroe, Clinton, Bond and Randolph Counties in Illinois. I also service St. Louis County and other areas in Missouri. I charge a $20 transportation fee for properties further than 25 miles from 62220 in Belleville, IL.
Q. Do I need to be present at the time of the shoot?
A. It is usually better for me if someone is present as I shoot however it is not 100% necessary as long as I have access to the property. I may need to move or rearrange objects in the home to make the photographs more appealing and it is always nice to have an extra set of hands. Also, the seller or owner can point out any important features they would like to emphasize. Note: I do not have a Suprakey.
Q. How long does a typical photo shoot take?
A. Usually it takes between 1-3 hours to shoot depending on the size and features of the property and how well staged it is. As a general guideline, it takes about 1 hour per 1000 sq./ft. However, vacant houses tend to be quicker.
Q. How fast will I get my images?
A. I strive to get the images to you as fast as possible without compromising the quality of the photographs. Typically, I am able to get the processed images to you within 24-48 hours or less.
Q. How are the images delivered to me?
A. I almost always send the images via email with a Dropbox link to the photos where they can be downloaded. Let me know if there is a method that’s more convenient for you.
Q. How many images will I get?
A. This varies depending on the size and features of the property. Some rooms may only require a single shot whereas another may need several. I do not put a limit on the number of images you receive. In fact, I am more than likely to give you more than you need so you can choose the images you feel best represent the property.
Q. How do I know that my home and property is ready for real estate photography?
A. I have put together a Pre-shoot Checklist, which explains what you need to do to get your house looking its best for photography.
Q. What is the best time of day for real estate photography?
A: It really depends on the individual property and how is it positioned in relation to the sun. Generally, the best times to shoot an exterior are the East side in the morning and the West side later in the afternoon. The North and South sides can be photographed whenever the light is bright. This also applies to interior photographs. I try to use available light, or natural sunlight whenever possible. I find it more attractive than artificial light, or flash. It's worthwhile to let me know when the sun looks great on the exterior of the house or what time an important room looks best during the day.
Q. Can you just Photoshop that?
A. Photoshop is indeed an incredible tool with seemingly endless power, however nothing is better than getting the image as “correct” as possible during shooting. Photoshop does not mow your lawn or put your laundry away. Please follow the Pre-shoot Checklist to assure your house is ready to be photographed.
Q. Will the photos need to be resized before posting them on MLS?
A: No. All photos will be optimized for posting to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). I can also give you high-resolution images upon request if you intend to make large prints any of the photographs.
Q. How do I pay for your services?
A. You can pay by cash, check or major credit card. Credit card payments are made using the PayPal Here app on my smartphone. The majority of people simply write a check. Payment is due at the time of the photography session. If you are unable to make the payment at the time of the shoot, an invoice will be sent and will need to be paid prior to releasing the images.
Q. Do I own the copyright to the photos once I have paid?
A. No. As a standard in the photography industry, the photographer retains copyright on all images. You purchase a single use, non-transferable image license for the purpose of marketing the property. That image license is good for the duration of your listing and expires once the listing is sold, canceled or reassigned to another agent. Any usage of the photos by a third party including another agent or builder is prohibited unless approved in writing.
Q. Can I use the photos on my website or other marketing materials?
A: Yes. The images you pay for are licensed by Jeff Hursey for your use. The license allows you to use the photos to advertise you and your services in print and online, however I do request that photo credit be clearly stated on or near the photo.
Q. What is your cancellation policy?
A: If you cancel a scheduled shoot in less than 24 hours before we are scheduled, I will have to ask you to pay for the photo shoot because I could have used that time for a different job. I am always happy to reschedule at no cost, especially if it is due to bad weather.
Q: Do you offer any discounts or deals?
A: Yes I do! I offer $25 off your first session for agents. If you like my work (and I hope you do), refer me to another agent or seller and you will receive $25 off your next session if they book me. I also give discounts to agents who repeatedly hire me to photograph their listings. Ask for details.
Q. How do I hire you?
A. Simple, just contact me via phone or email and we can get something set up.